Time Preferences and VOLY Seminar

Head shot of Rebecca McDonald

Dr. Rebecca McDonald from the University of Birmingham, UK recently presented a seminar at CHDS on Time Preferences and the Value of a Life Year (VOLY). The VOLY is derived by aggregating the monetary value of small gains in life expectancy generated by mortality risk reductions. However, the same gains in life expectancy can be achieved by different scenarios.

Research has established that individuals may have preferences over interventions that offer the same gain in life expectancy, which implies different VOLYs. Policy makers use VOLY when they evaluate health interventions and other public health policies, making the preferences of individuals significant. Dr. McDonald and her colleague at the University of Birmingham, Dr. Danae Alloyos Calvera, investigate how the degree to which individuals value a gain in life expectancy depends on whether it is achieved by reducing mortality risk in the near term or in future decades. They have been conducting experiments to determine how preferences over different sequences of risk reduction relate to individuals’ time preferences. Dr. McDonald presented the results of their experiments thus far and discussed the implications of their research.

Learn more: Read about Preferences and Values

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